Porsche introduced the second-generation Panamera a few years ago, so for 2021 the high-performance four door is receiving a styling refresh as well as extensive upgrades under the skin. Panamera has been in the Porsche lineup since 2009 and is now available in sedan, Sport Turismo and Executive body styles with a range of turbocharged and electrified powertrains. Customers will be able to order the 2021 Porsche Panamera early next year.
Earlier this summer a lightly camouflaged 2021 Porsche Panamera took to the legendary Nurburgring Nordschleife racetrack in Germany and proceeded to circumnavigate the full 20.832 kilometers in 7:29.81, making it the fastest production car in the Executive Car category. Executive Car is a European classification for E-segment vehicles, or those vehicles classified in America as large cars.
“The Panamera has always been both an exclusive touring sedan and a true sports car at the same time. In the new model, we have enhanced these attributes even further,” said Thomas Friemuth, vice president of the Panamera product line. “Alongside the increased engine power, improvements have been made in the areas of cornering stability, body control and steering precision. These enhancements benefit both everyday comfort and performance. The lap record is impressive proof of this,” Friemuth noted.
Styling changes for the 2021 Porsche Panamera are rather subtle. Most noticeable is the standard SportDesign front fascia that had previously been optional. At the rear, a continuous LED light strip spans the space above the PORSCHE badge, connecting the narrow taillights. New diffuser fins are added to the lower rear fascia. The Panamera will come with a new 20-inch wheel design as standard equipment, along with two new 21-inch wheel designs as optional equipment.
The 2021 Porsche Panamera also receives a newly designed multi-function steering wheel with shift paddles. The Turbo S gets a new leather-wrapped GT Sport steering wheel, which is an available option for in other Panameras. Power-adjustable comfort seats are throughout the lineup, and the GTS comes with 18-way power-adaptive sport seats as standard fare. The center console with its 12.3-inch touchscreen continues as standard equipment.
A new Turbo S resides at the top of the 2021 Panamera lineup. Under the hood lurks an upgraded 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 620 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque — a healthy bump from the 550 horsepower of the previous Panamera Turbo. The added power comes from alterations to the crankshaft, connecting rods, timing chain drive and torsional vibration dampers, new fuel injectors and a reduced compression ratio. The Turbo S Panameras gets a unique front fascia with larger air intakes and a new Turbo S-specific headlight signature.
Performance stats for the Turbo S with the upgraded engine are impressive — a sprint to 60 mph takes a mere 2.9 seconds with a top speed listed as 196 mph. The Turbo S gets go-fast parts to go along with the power boost, including Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport, Porsche Torque Vectoring, rear-axle steering and Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes fitted with yellow or black brake calipers based on customer request. The Panamera Turbo S also comes with 21-inch 911 Turbo Design wheels shod with ultra-high-performance summer tires.
The sporty 2021 Porsche Panamera GTS also receives an update to its twin-turbo V8 engine, which now generates 473 horsepower and 457 lb-ft of torque. With a 20-horse increase over the previous version, the GTS also has updated throttle calibration designed to provide responsiveness that closely matches that of a normally aspirated motor. The standard sport exhaust has been redesigned to offer an enhanced V8 rumble.
The GTS stands out from the rest of the Panamera lineup thanks to updated front and rear SportDesign fascias trimmed in Satin Black, as well as GTS-specific Satin Black 20-inch Panamera Design wheels. Tinted taillights and black lettering and badging complete the sporty look.
For 2021 Porsche also adds a new plug-in hybrid variant — the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid. The 4S E-Hybrid is powered by a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 gas engine teamed with an electric motor for a total output of 552 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. Underscoring the fact that not all hybrids are about fuel efficiency, the 4S E-Hybrid runs to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and will eventually reach 185 mph.
Porsche has also announced that all E-Hybrid Panameras will get a battery capacity increase to 17.9 kWh — a 27 percent increase over the previous year. Porsche has made no mention of a new Turbo S E-Hybrid — the most powerful Panamera of 2020 — although the range-topper might still be in the works.
The standard Panamera gets a new 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 producing 325 horsepower. This replaces the 3.0-liter single-turbo engine from the previous year, although Porsche pundits might be surprised to hear this represents a drop of 5 horsepower.
Customers will be able to order the 2021 Porsche Panamera early next year, with vehicles expected to arrive in showrooms in spring 2021. Pricing will be released once orders can be accepted; based on previous model-year pricing, expect the 2021 Porsche Panamera to have a starting MSRP in the neighborhood of $90,000.